History ETDs

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This thesis is an examination of the roots of the New Mexico women's movement and the unification of Protestant women's networks in New Mexico. Chapter 1 begins with the entry of Protestant evangelists and their wives prior to the Civil War. Chapter 2 looks at the Protestant missionaries who, after the Civil War, intensified their efforts to Americanize the West. Chapter 3 examines the early crusade of the new Mexico Woman's Christian Temperance Union (NMWCTU), 1883-1906.

Missionaries and lay women established an evangelical alliance which became the basis of a growing female reform movement in New Mexico. The NMWCTU was the first nonsectarian Euro-American women's organization in the territory. The members worked to reform their communities and to extend their temperance agenda by moving into public policy and striving for legislation that affirmed companionate marriage and that protected women and children.

The exceptional leaders, Mary J. Borden, fourth president of the NMWCTU, and Ada Morley Cleaveland successfully sponsored a resolution in which the NMWCTU resolved to support a limited woman suffrage. This step marked the introduction of the campaign for woman suffrage in New Mexico. The NMWCTU became the organizational means to extend the influence of a united women's network into the public arena.

Level of Degree


Degree Name


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Elizabeth Jameson

Second Committee Member

Richard W. Etulain

Third Committee Member

Virginia Scharff



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